Gotta Serve Somebody
(7-16 December 2004)
16 December 2004
-While I don't really like TV that much, especially these days, I do have a soft spot for the absurdity of reality TV... sometimes. & nothing really points out the absurdity of reality TV like Fox's latest: "My Big Fat Obnoxious Boss". Even though it's on Sunday, when I work, the Big Blue Housers have been taping it & we all gather round sometime in the week when we don't all work. It's my favorite show in a long time. Just seeing what corporate wannabees will do to grovel at the altar of capitalism & knowing it's all a sham... wow!
-I'm concluding from this moratorium that while sometimes video games get in the way of productivity, sometimes the guilt from having played them for a while motivates me into productivity as well. In short, I've gotten a lot less done than I'd hoped. Of course, I'm also facing more exhaustion at work than usual. Or maybe it always feels that way. As my boss put it, I need a long stretch of time where I just don't think about work. Less than a week to go!
-I don't know if it's ever felt less like Christmas this close to said date. Maybe it's just too warm around here & I haven't started folding the luminaria bags we bought yet. I feel utterly bereft of connection to the holiday. Em put up some lights around the living room the other day, which was great, but I still am just not feeling it.
-Cusick is the latest to throw her book list into the ring. She adds 10 new books as the 33rd submitter. What are you waiting for?
15 December 2004
-It's so funny to go to some of these trainings at Seneca where they assume that everyone has a sturdy psych background & has been through all the historical ups & downs of psych philosophy. I feel like I'm some spy who somehow infiltrated this cabal of psychology without any knowledge of it whatsoever. When I really think about my on-paper qualifications for this job going into it, it almost scares me.
-The drama, the heartache, the anxiety. & that's just between the staff at work!
-"Finding Neverland" is indeed a phenomenal movie. For some reason, as I was watching it, I was thinking that Lewis Carroll had written "Peter Pan" & so this must be the story of the guy who adapted it to the stage, which didn't seem like such a stretch. About halfway through the film, I realized that the Lewis Carroll thing was out of the left field of my imagination & everything made much more sense. Either way, bring some soup to cry in to this one.
-Our downstairs landlords/neighbors/friends' place got broken into sometime tonight. Probably while we were at the movie. Yikes.
14 December 2004
-Suarez! Hadn't seen him since the wedding. Only got a brief lunch, but he's talking about moving Bayside, so we'll see...
-Things appear to be rapidly approaching their nadir.
-How I love getting a migraine at work. I can just feel my ability to concentrate falling down the tubes. At least it didn't hit till about an hour before bedtimes.
13 December 2004
-So the Kia's in a bit of a bad spot, so that's going to make up for the fact that I got my back-pay on my raises from February & September. So it goes. It's not like we're in any sort of trouble financially, though, so it's nice that we can afford something like this. Doesn't make it nice that it happened, just not horrible. If that makes sense. Sometimes the best thing is having something not be horrible. Right? Regardless, it's ongoing proof of the randomness of money.
-Unmitigated ongoing crises. But I was able to talk down a kid that I'm almost never successful in talking down, so that was a small beacon in an unending fog. This is getting old.
12 December 2004
-A couple of new experiences today at work, & new tends to not be a good thing. I'm just counting down the days till my break, hoping against hope that it's all going to hold together till then. But there's hard times in these here hills.
11 December 2004
-Headed out to Tracy for the last time before the holidays. The kids continue to be much more fun to hang out with as they become more verbal & Paul V is just reminding me so much of myself at his age with his extreme pickiness about food & general demeanor. Though I don't ever recall getting quite that hyper... that was something that didn't happen till high school, really. Either way, we meandered through two new board games, each of which was pretty darn fun. I know Paul IV can't keep commuting, but it's a shame that they'll probably be moving before too long.
10 December 2004
-The unending sluggishness rolls through another day. At least I'm getting minor stuff done around the margins.
-For the first time in around a year, I have updated The Book List! It features 7 new submitters, consisting of Jordan Segal & 6 random people I don't know. Between them, they've added 97 new books in listing their 175 composite favorites (55% unique), bringing the totals to 32 submitters with 565 books (an average of around 17 unique books per submitter). Yes, I've been crunching a lot of numbers lately to bring this project up to date. I would encourage anyone who has been thinking about submitting to the list & hasn't actually done so, especially many of my bibliophile friends out there, to take a few minutes & jot down your 25 favorites & send them along!
9 December 2004
-It's Thursday that I think I struggle with most on this video-game moratorium. I'm actually dreaming a lot about video games, which is highly consistent with my pattern of dreaming about things that I'm forbidding from myself for a long time after giving them up. I didn't really expect it to happen this fast, but I'm having nightmares about breaking the moratorium & waking up unsure of what happened. My dream consciousness & I have never been much better than enemies anyway.
-I'm just feeling so sluggish. The torrential rains of the past 48 hours have washed away, but the lingering need to curl up in the dark with a book persists.
-Setlist from last night.
8 December 2004
-Happy anniversary to my parents!
-How often do we have to spin our wheels, to hit our heads into the same walls? It's all been the same since the beginning. I'm a little surprised at my resolve to stick it out, at how many aspects of the job I still like enough to try to invest in. It's all exhausting though.
-Chipotle, how I hope I never get tired of you.
-People are so much more self-conscious when they're alone. I guess it makes sense - that folks pay attention to whoever they're with. It seems like all eyes are on you when no one's are. I wonder if we always assume the worst when we aren't hearing counter-arguments.
-Well two concerts this month, two front rows. It was also the second concert lifetime that I've attended by myself, which I don't mind doing as much as some might think. I spent several hours observing people & their conversations, which is always useful for writing. In any conversation where one is involved, one has to recognize how much of oneself gets built into that conversation. We have an impact on any discussion where we participate, & even to a lesser extent where we publicly observe. But those in which one eavesdrops, or happens to hear, without pretending to be a participant, those are the ones that really let one into the way others communicate. It's good to do this to keep a dialogue-writer honest. Anyway, the Everclear show was quite good, though punctuated by Art Alexakis going off at certain times, especially when the woman next to me tried to request "Thrift Store Chair" (which he's never played live) & then her friend flipped him off when he said he couldn't play it this tour, but would the next. The set was still a little radio-heavy (not as much so as when they opened for Matchbox-20 in 2001), & light on the last 3 albums, but was still enjoyable. Art did a great job of getting the crowd involved, especially on a solo rendition of "Strawberry" where the mic was pointed at the crowd for at least half the song. The opener was pretty solid as well, & they gave out free limited-edition Everclear CD's upon exit (I was hoping for a poster like the last Fillmore show I attended, but the CD may have been even better). I realized throughout the concert how many of Everclear's songs are about bad family situations for children & how they ring so relevant for the kids that I work with. I wonder if my extensive listening to Everclear had any indirect influence on my wandering towards Seneca.
7 December 2004
-Tonight went & got all nostalgic on me. First Fish & I got to talking about some things & then we had hauled out the AA '98 yearbook & it was off to the races. I've been puttering around websites since (it's now early in the morning & I've completed a successful six days of the video game moratorium) & the trickles are becoming floods. I just... I'm at a loss as to what to say about it all. I could try to sum up life into something trite or witty, as I've done before with mixed results. In the end, I feel more & more like I'm coming up on a crossroads. My life has had insufficient change of late, & though there's comfort in routine, it's more disconcerting to watch one fall into the ruts that are within routine. After all, you can't spell routine without rut. There I go again. But tonight, I don't think I'm really trying to resolve anything, or make more porcelain promises. I just can feel the transience of my state, just enough to find comfort in how walled-in I'm really not. When people let negative & self-defeating thoughts take them over, it's always at least partially the result of acquiring some sort of tunnel-vision. A viewpoint where options are narrowed to the point of non-existence. I've done this with myself countless times; it's the hallmark of depression getting the upper-hand on hope. Hope is borne of understanding how limitless options almost always are, & realizing that one has a chance to reinvent oneself, to shed so many aspects of oneself, & above all realizing how many boundaries & barriers around us are only enforced by ourselves. The translucent nature of these barriers can set us all free. We just need the guts to see.
-Updated the Blue Pyramid People page to reveal that even more people have fallen off the wagon of updating fairly regularly. Drew is a notable exception to this trend, as he just avoided italics purgatory with an update a week ago. It seems, however, that the lapsing sites are out-pacing the up-to-date. I'm still regularly reading & appreciating those that are sticking it out, though, so thanks to all you who are doing that.
-"Got more faults than the state of California". I had been meaning to post that quote from the concert a few days back, but I just got around to it now. It matches my mood better at the moment, hours shy of another work shift, anyway. It's from the new song the Weakerthans played, "Utilities", which was a great song... though perhaps not as great as when I heard "One Great City!" when it was new in May 2001. The crowd was pretty excited to hear a California reference as well.
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